This morning’s release of the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for the month of June showed a stronger than expected picture in terms of the number of job openings, while last month’s was revised higher. Economists were expecting the number of job openings to come in at 7.326 million but the actual level was 22K stronger at 7.348 million. Besides the fact that the June reading was higher than expected, the most notable aspect of the JOLTS report continues to be how there are more job openings than there are available workers. The shift in the jobs vs. available workers dynamic first shifted in February 2018 but has remained that way ever since and currently stands at 1.373 million more jobs than there are workers. While the ‘shortage’ of workers raised concerns that it would accelerate upward pressure on wages, at this point we have yet to see signs that wages are beginning to spiral out of control.
While the above picture portrays a jobs market that is red hot, we would note that there has been some slowing in recent months. As shown in the chart below, the last time the JOLTS survey made a new high was seven months ago in November. Things are far from falling off a cliff when it comes to the employment picture, but for the time being, they aren’t accelerating either. Start a two-week free trial to Bespoke Institutional to access our interactive economic indicators monitor and much more.